By Joe Ellis

5th May, 2022 | 5:10pm

Leeds United star Raphinha 'surely' leaving Elland Road for Barcelona

Leeds United may have to be resigned to losing their star player Rpahinha with Barcelona an almost-certain destination for him, according to Claudio Mauri.

The 25-year-old Brazilian international has long been touted with a move to the Catalan giants who have failed to fill their right-wing position ever since Lionel Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Mauri, a journalist for the La Nacion newspaper in Argentina, also thinks that Raphnha’s agent, Deco, will be a great help in getting a deal completed this summer.

“Raphinha, the Brazilian who gave Leeds such good results, will surely be one of Barcelona’s reinforcements,” Mauri said via his personal Twitter account, “His representative is Deco and that will greatly favour negotiations.”

The Brazilian, who has scored 10 times this season in the Premier League with a further three assists for Leeds, will theoretically see his contract expire in 2024 [Transfer Markt] but a decision on his future is likely to come way before then.

X-Factor

Raphinha’s number in terms of goals and assists are decent, but they aren’t anything ground-breaking and for Leeds to make the progress they desire towards a European return, they need more from their main man.

There probably are players who can offer a few more goals and assists throughout the season and will be available to Jesse Marsch this summer but none of them will have what the 25-year-old has.

There is just something about him whenever he gets the ball that you think he might just do something magical that will get the entirety of Elland Road off their seats.

Having that X-Factor can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing the biggest games of a team’s season which is incredibly important right now given our current league situation.

He can go missing from time to time but you can accept the odd poor day or quiet period because what he does when he is on it is unlike anyone else in the entire country.

In other Leeds United news, this shot-stopper needs to be signed to a new Elland Road deal before he walks out for free.